NEW YORK CITY — Tinder seems to be making war not love.
An anonymous New York City blogger who wrote about her dating life under the pen name Tinderella was forced to ditch the name due to trademark infringements after a lawyer representing the dating app Tinder threatened legal consequences if she didn’t comply, according to the blogger and a letter from the lawyer.
The 27-year-old blogger received the letter from Tinder’s intellectual property counsel July 21 claiming her use of the name “Tinderella” could “severely injure Tinder’s interests,” according to the letter signed by Jonathan Reichman, a lawyer from the firm Kenyon & Kenyon.
Tinderella is an Internet meme referring to something of a perfect female match on Tinder, as in “I think I found my Tinderella.”
The lawyer’s letter stated that Tinder had invested “substantial effort and resources” to develop its brand and readers would mistakenly assume the “Tinderella” blog was “authorized, licensed or sponsored, or is affiliated” with Tinder.
What’s a girl to do when faced with the wrath of one of the world’s largest dating apps?
Tinderella relaunched as Sinderella, coincidentally on the same day Tinder attacked a Vanity Fair article that documented how the app has allegedly fostered a hookup frenzy among young singles. Tinder’s reaction, in a flurry of tweets rebuking the reporting of the writer Nancy Jo Sales, blew up the Internet even more than the original story.
“The big dudes from the company-who-shall-no-longer-be-named came after me and told me to give up my name (or else,)” wrote Sinderella, formerly Tinderella, in a blog post dated Aug. 11. “So after drinking three bottles of wine a night and rocking back and forth screaming, ‘WHO AM I?’ I have recovered from my identity crisis and am back to rock ya computers.”
The post also pointed out the “sin” in Sinderella stands for "single" and not the dating debauchery the Vanity Fair article described.
The blog developed a sizable following since launching in January 2014. At times the blog reached almost 20,000 visits a day.
Earlier this year, the then-Tinderella attempted to trademark her pen name, but the United States Patent and Trademark Office rejected the request. The agency stated Tinderella has simply added “ella” to the end of the already-trademarked Tinder.
“Overall, the marks have a similar commercial impression,” according to a USPTO document rejecting the Tinderella trademark application.
Tinder and Kenyon & Kenyon did not return requests for comment.
Sinderella said the Tinder hookup culture the Vanity Fair article described hasn't matched her own experience. In the Vanity Fair story, one young man said he had slept with at least 30 women in the past year thanks in part to dating apps.
“I don’t know anyone who has used it in that way,” said Sinderella. “Maybe they just aren’t telling me.”
Sinderella advised swiping selectively to avoid those just wanting to hookup.
“I see a lot people will have on their profile ‘Looking for a good time’ or ‘No strings attached,’” said Sinderella, explaining who to steer away from if you’re serious about finding a committed relationship.
Then the still-single Sinderella second guessed her own advice.
“Clearly it isn’t working out for me and I should be saying ‘Yes’ to those guys,” she said.